Elements of Customer Experience that Boost Sales: Trade Secrets Exposed
The elements of customer experience will be different for each business, without a doubt. Different organizations define Customer Experience differently, but there are a few broad elements of CX that are ubiquitous. Today we discuss these basic elements so you can begin to consider how they relate to your company.
Leadership and Vision from the Top Down
Customer experience isn’t a sales tactic, it is an entire holistic firm-wide methodology. In order to be successful, leaders, right from the top, need to buy-in and evangelize. The dominant sales culture must change from one of booking transactions to one of building relationships. Leaders set the tone for their subordinates, so if the leader decides that elements of customer experience are important, so will her lieutenants.
Furthermore, the overall vision must be specific and well defined. This vision will affect scores of operational choices downstream, like store design, what data to collect, vendor tools to employ, etc. Once you’ve conceived of the vision, communicate it with your people and your customers. All day. Every day. Constant communication is how values become embedded into the culture of the company.
Also, in any organization the goals that get achieved are the goals that are discussed every day. This is so important that I want to reiterate it. What you focus on is what gets done. If you talk about CX but only measure sales revenue, CX will never take hold.
Meet your shoppers where they are and move with them. They’re omni-channel, so you must be, too. Develop a strategy that meets shoppers on their terms, which likely includes new channels and emerging technologies. Understand how stage of the shopper’s journey and specific channel relate to each other.
Real Time Onsite Data Collection
Building a better CX starts with knowing your customers. Truly knowing them involves understanding who they are, what they value, how they see themselves, and how they want to be treated. Try to see and understand the shopper’s journey through their eyes so you can determine what would make the experience wonderful. To do this you must collect the data necessary to create customer profiles that are comprehensive and predictive.
This doesn’t mean collecting some data and shoehorning the customer into one of a handful of broad categories. It means collecting exact data on each customer and using the right tools to determine who she is. CX and Shopper Journey management depend on creating an emotional connection with your shoppers; you can’t do that blindly.
Social Media Listening Tools
You need to hear what your customers are saying to their networks about you, your brand, and your products. The good and the bad. Shoppers today socialize on the huge networks as well as in the backwaters of the web. Your ability to respond to and learn from them is only as effective as your ability to hear them. Use tools that find and aggregate social discussions.
Easy-to-Use, Comprehensive CRM
This should go without saying, but CRM platforms are key elements of customer experience. A clunky CRM is a customer experience killer. Besides being up to date it must collect data from all interactions through all channels. On your end, the data must be accessible to all departments. Customers don’t care whether they’re talking to sales, service, or whomever. They expect each to know the customer’s info, particularly that data necessary to deal with the issue at hand. Make life easy for your personnel and don’t antagonize your customers.
A Customer Feedback Mechanism
A systematic method for collecting and responding to customer feedback is crucial to improving your elements of customer experience. You need to be able to capture feedback in real time and respond easily to that feedback. Omnichannel is the rule of the day, and because customers interact via multiple channels it is important that you can move with them as their feedback preferences change. If possible, your feedback should come from a human. If that’s not possible, it should at least be tied to a specific customer support agent. This feels personal and tells the customer that you value him as a person.
A Measurement Methodology
How do you know if your personnel, technology, and processes are working? You need to devise a measurement methodology and metrics that are meaningful to your store. This is easier said than done because measuring CX accurately and meaningfully is still a challenge. One method currently in use is the Net Promoter Score, which simply asks, “Would you recommend this company to a friend or relative?” It is simple, easy to implement, and is something of an industry standard.
A more granular approach measures individual shopper engagement. Many well-known metrics currently measure engagement — downloads, registrations, dwell time, etc. The advantage of these is that they can be added to individual shopper profiles. This allows you to approach CX refinement as a “bottom-up” process, bettering the CX for all by bettering it for each. It also allows you to more easily identify exact points of interest, emotion, and engagement.
Elements of Customer Experience Work Together
Effective and enjoyable CX has many facets. Today we’ve touched on some of the basic elements. Your next step is to create your overall strategy as well as the framework for delivering that strategy. There are many, many tools and platforms out there to help you create a winning experience. Tomorrow, in the last part of this series, we take a look at some of them.
Originally published at cueconnect.com/blog on May 5, 2017.